Disney to offer Tame version of Mission:Space attraction at Epcot

Just off the wires is news (see also) that Walt Disney World will offer a tame version of its Mission: Space attraction at Epcot. This news comes on the heels of two deaths within 12 months from guests who had just been on the attraction. While the deaths were not directly attributable to Mission: Space, both guests had pre-existing conditions, it is unknown if the attraction’s intense motion and extended g-forces, played a role. This is a wise move for Disney since by their own admission the intense version excludes a significant portion of the guests attending that day.

When asked if the change was being made because of recent events, Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty responded, "The answer is no.

"We are doing this for three reasons: to enable even more guests to
experience the attraction; to provide an alternative that may be more
suited for some guests, such as those who are prone to motion sickness
or have other conditions; and to further encourage all guests to
carefully consider and heed posted health warnings."

It’s not unheard of for simulator attractions with multiple ride vehicles to offer one with little or no motion for guests who choose not to experience the full version. SeaWorld does this with Wild Artic. Now Disney will with Mission:Space beginning sometime this summer.

A few questions remain: Will guests get an early and full view of the ride mechanics before they have to make a decision on which queue to enter or will Disney rely on signage and warnings that could suffer from language barriers? Also will (or should) anything be done to mitigate the effects the full version of the attraction has on guests who have undiagnosed pre-existing conditions?

[ , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ]

3 thoughts on “Disney to offer Tame version of Mission:Space attraction at Epcot

  1. E.G.

    How can you “mitigate the effects” of the regular version? And how can you do that for people with pre-existing conditions even they may not know about? They’re “mitigating” Mission: Space by offering a weaker ride for the little old ladies of every age and sex . . . Like literally millions of others, I’ve enjoyed the ride many times with no ill effects. Offering a “tamer version” is ridiculous–will “tamer” versions of TZ:Tower of Terror and every other thrill ride be next? A second track on the Rock n’ Rollercoaster for people who don’t like inversions? Don’t those rides “exclude” numerous guests, too? This will have the effect of making lines even longer and slower for the rest of us by re-purposing one ride vehicle. Who wants to wait in line for a simulator with “little or no motion” anyway? What kind of pointless exercise is that? Might as well just funnel the infirm into the video game/giftshop area. And why are they doing this? The ride did not kill the boy or the German woman; their chronic medical conditions did . . . But this “tamer” verison certainly sounds like a tacit admission of guilt. (I also object to using “intense” to describe a ride with fewer Gs than your average steel roller-coaster. Just ridiculous all the way ’round.)

  2. JookyG

    Although I would never ride the tamer version, I think this is a great idea. If there’s 4 simulators, and just one is tamed-down, I don’t see how it would affect queue times noticably for the more intense version. I’ll bet it would ciphon off at least that many from the main queue. I also like the idea of attractions at Disney parks being accessible to everyone–this move opens it up to more people, while still appeasing the diehard thrill seekers. Walt wanted his parks to be inclusive, and too many of the new attractions have moved away from that ideal.

    There’s nothing ridiculous about calling Mission: SPACE intense. 2 seconds of extra-Gs as you go through a loop or inversion on a roller coaster is *nothing* like the sustained 2-Gs of a centrifuge. Folks with cast iron stomachs report coming off that ride queasy. There’s a reason it has barf bags and roller coasters don’t.

    If unwary people continue to die from this ride, regardless of the fact that Disney is no way liable, there’s a good chance they’d eventually have to shut it down or tame it down altogether. Offering different experiences is a great way to avoid this possibility. The Disney rep said the announcement wasn’t in response to the deaths, but who’s she trying to fool? Of course it was, but Disney can’t afford to acknowledge the fact for marketing or legal reasons.

    Someone on a Disney podcast suggested that the 4 centrifuges should offer increasing intensity, and that guests would have to “graduate” to the higher levels. That way there’d be no confusion about how intense the final level is. Although the logistics of this would be tough, it’s another great idea along the same lines.

  3. Rob

    The question I have is if the two riders who died would have choosen the tamer version. My understanding is the neither of them knew of their pre-existing condition.

Comments are closed.